PEER MEDIATION

act

Activity

Peer Mediation Role-plays

Time of Year

April – SADD Calendar
April – National Youth Violence Prevention Week
Any time of year

Summary

The mediation process provides a way for people to resolve their disagreements before either party resorts to violence.

Objective

To provide students with the skills to avoid resorting to violence by using mediation instead

Ever since you wouldn’t let your classmate copy the answers to your math test, she has been writing threatening e-mails to you and spreading rumors about you to your friends. It’s been two weeks and you’re tired of putting up with it. You start spreading rumors about her and pranking her cell phone. The next day, she’s waiting for you after school, ready to fight.

Did the situation have to come to this? Will fighting solve anything? What could have happened instead?

Unfortunately, every day people choose to use violence as an answer to their anger and frustration. But there are plenty of alternatives to solving problems that do not require violence. They require talking, listening, understanding, and mediation.

Mediation involves solving a dispute through peaceful means. This can be done between the two people (or two groups of people) faced with the conflict, or a mediator can handle the mediation. A mediator is a neutral person who can help both sides resolve their differences fairly and peacefully.

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, mediation has helped to reduce violence in neighborhoods and schools. Using peers as mediators – a process known as peer mediation – is a popular way to handle conflicts and prevent violence in middle schools and high schools. Schools recruit and train students interested in peer mediation. Guidance counselors or other trained professionals teach the young mediators how to listen to both sides of an argument, offer unbiased impressions, and help students in conflict find a workable solution to their problem.

For more information about becoming a peer mediator and mediator training, visit the National Association of Peer Programs Web site at www.peerhelping.org or the National Crime Prevention Council at www.ncpc.org.

SADD encourages you to establish a peer mediation group at your school to help deal with conflicts before they escalate into violence. Use the tips and scenarios in the following pages to help classmates see what it takes to be peer mediators.

What to Do

  1. Click here to download the Six Steps to Mediation. Photocopy and distribute the Six Steps to Mediation.
  2. Read with the group and discuss.
  3. Once the group is comfortable, divide students into small groups of three.
  4. Distribute the role-plays and have students present their skits to the group once they have practiced.

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